This past year I had the opportunity to visit the place where one of my greatest loves, greatest blessings and greatest teachers originated. My son's dad was born in paradise. I thank God his family found the strength to break away from such rich and beautiful lands full of spirit and love. The experience was what I would call, "Una Experencia Religiosa!" a solemn and divine experience. Every single day and night I extend my gratitude to my source for allowing me to walk this path with such a light in my heart and in my days. My school of thought is nothing is an accident and we create all things with our words, thoughts and actions. My life has been a true journey, in all ways. I don't have it better or worse than anyone in the world. I stand in what is and attempt to stay still and be an instrument of peace and love. This is my authentic intention and desire. When my friend told me he wanted to introduce me to someone I didn't think I was ready. When he called me and said, "I have the perfect person for you to meet." I told him I wasn't sure. I told him I just wasn't ready. I wasn't ready for a new relationship with anyone but myself. I explained how I was on a quest to get to know me and to heal me. I tried to explain that I had never ever truly been alone. I told him how I was searching for the right words to forgive my inner-child and show her love. I further explained that if his friend was truly that perfect for me NOW then he probably wouldn't be perfect for me cause I'm not really where I think I need to be. See my thirties, like for many, were definitely years of growth, self-awareness and personal exploration. My friend has known me for several years and was quite familiar with my choices in partners. He was privy to lots of situations and relationship experiences that I had gone through. He was my mentor for a couple of years. He was so insistent on my meeting his friend that at one point I said, "LB, if he is so great, you should date him!" My friend didn't find the humor in my statement and just kept on insisting. Now don't get me wrong. I was all for blind dates. I'd been on a couple in my day and didn't ever have a problem with that, not even when I went on that date with the Blind gentleman, my friend Joanna's friend, remember Karina? Truth be told I asked Joanna...Anyhow, I digress.
I had gone through a very sobering life experience and I thought I would be too fragile and jaded to engage with anyone on a serious level. My friend didn't specify if this person was looking for something serious or not and I didn't ask, I just felt if my friend was introducing me to someone so perfect it wasn't for just non committed dating. I talked to other friends and they all agreed I should meet this gentleman. They said I deserved perfection. I do have the greatest friends. My therapist gave me very good counsel and I agreed to meet LB's friend. We met, we talked, we laughed, we connected. It was great. I didn't expect anything and guess what, neither did he. It was the beginning of a magical relationship. I didn't want to be friends with him. I wasn't looking for another friend and I wasn't looking for another intimate relationship. I wasn't even looking for love, or maybe I was. The point is really I wasn't searching for anything outside of myself at that point.
There was a connection. It was pretty immediate and grew gradually. We planted a seed and have nurtured it. We have had our ups and downs like any other relationship and we find the beauty in our uniqueness. I am always me and he is always himself yet what we bring out in one another is truly only ours. Sometimes learning and growing for ourselves involves being in relationship with others. The clarity of thought I received while standing on the side of that mountain with my son, his sister and his dad was one I will always hold in my heart and call upon to guide me when I start to get a little lost. To always focus on my light...
Thank you to LB for being the Lord's messenger and making sure I met my soul's song, this lifetime and thank you to My son's father for being such a light in my life. It goes without saying, my eternal gratitude to my source, to the Lord, to the universe.
Recently I was working for a not-for-profit which had a grant that placed them at a high school. Recruitment of 43 students seemed quite challenging. When I went to the school to speak to the team I had a very thorough brainstorm and came up with some very effective ideas for recruitment and retention. I've worked with kids, high students mostly for the past 20 years of my life. It's basically second nature to me. My last name is Aponte which translates to "A Bridge." It's in my DNA to make connections, to create possibilities. One of the great ideas I shared was having the students do free writes at the start of every meeting. A brainstorm is a sharing of ideas with neither judgement nor qualification so the wilder the ideas the greater the brainstorm. My idea wasn't new in anyway, Julia Cameron writes about it in her book, "The Artist's Way." That's just one example of how it isn't new but it was a new concept to this particular group of folks. I said we can get cool notebooks and have the students journal. It's always a wonderful exercise to write down your feelings or experience when starting a new endeavor. The grant is about working with high school freshmen to make sure the transition into the high school world is successful and that they feel supported. One of the main goals is to successfully be promoted to the tenth grade, for the students to triumphantly pass the ninth grade. Free writing and/or journaling would be quite appropriate, fun and it would measure growth as well. So the concept was multi-purposed. Nevertheless, I met with them talked about some other ideas and then went about my work business, which took me out of the school and to the office to be the Executive Assistant to the Director. The Director is quite creative and has been in business for over 25 years. She is a leader in her own right. She hired me to be her part time assistant but what she called me was her, "CATCHER." She shared how she had lots of activities on her plate, many goals, lots of balls in the air so-to-speak so she needed a catcher. One of my responsibilities was to get this particular program off the ground by creating the workscope, organizing the schedule, meeting with school staff, and interviewing the folks in charge and then I passed it on to the coordinator we hired who would be in charge at the school. So you see I had this minor connection with the high school program. The holidays were around the corner and I was planning a Halloween Party for my son and our friends. I stopped in a Discount Outlet to find inexpensive Halloween decorations or something fun and I found some very cool green composition notebooks. Without hesitation I purchased 43 of these notebooks for the kids. I thought I could have the coordinator of the program make up some cool labels with the name of the program and the company and then give one to each student. Imagine the possibilities. Due to other work responsibilities I hadn't taken the notebooks to the folks who would administer their use. I am not working with the agency anymore and in the trunk of my car I have 42 green composition notebooks (I gave one to my high school aged niece on Halloween as her Trick_or_Treat gift). Yesterday when I was organizing some paperwork I found the receipt, thankfully. Now I can go back and return them but it makes me sad that neither students nor I, will have this experience. 42 notebooks, I think I will only return 30 of them...
I would be lying if I told you I remember what I felt when I first became an aunt. My first nephew just celebrated his 37th. birthday this past weekend. I don't remember when he was born cause I was only four at the time. I don't remember being excited or falling in love with him. I don't think I even knew he was my nephew. I don't know how old we were when we were formally introduced or when we had our first conversation. I can't recall the moment I realized I am his aunt. These seemingly random thoughts were inspired by my dear friend Rose who is celebrating her nephew's birthday today, 11.12.13. I love what she shared about learning her nephew was coming into the world. It was so beautiful and so moving. I wondered what did I feel the very first time I became an aunt. I commented on her share stating, "Auntihood is one of the greatest "Hoods" around." I truly believe that. I have 13 nieces and nephews and a few great nieces and great nephews, so I KNOW what I am talking about, I'm well versed in "Auntihood." Now, I know I told you I don't remember when Anthony was born. (Anthony is my nephew, if it isn't obvious), I couldn't tell you anything about his birth or his early years but I can tell you my nephew, Anthony is one of the most responsible men ever! Anthony was so focused and responsible when he was a working youngster that I recommended him for a position at one point (if you know me, you know I don't recommend anyone for anything, ever). I knew he would be very successful in this position because I knew what his values are and the depth of his integrity. My nephew recently got married. He's an amazing son, a wonderful friend, a valuable and hard working employee, a trustworthy man with great character. Anthony doesn't just talk to talk, he's quite stoic in his deep silence and meditative tone. A big teddy bear and if you see him smile or hear him giggle you will know this immediately.
I have never told Anthony how proud I am of him and I have never told him how grateful I am for introducing me to "Auntihood," at such a tender age.
Thank you Anthony! Anthony, being your aunt is truly an honor. You make me proud all the time, from the thoughtfulness you share to your loving kind and protect-full nature.
Happy Birthday honey, keep enjoying and living your life the way you do, and be proud of the human being you are. You are so loved!
Julie En Espanol is my attempt at some Spanish blogging. You can find this particular blog at JewelsLatina.blogspot.com. (So far I've got eight posts on there. I'm attempting to increase this but only with thoughtful pieces that inspire me. Sometimes They Say/Aveces Dicen Check it out when you can and share it with your friends if you like. Thanks.) English is my second language. When I started kindergarten back in the late '70's, I did not know one word of English. The first five years of this lifetime I only heard and spoke Spanish.
At 11 I taught myself to read and write in Spanish. I would write letters to my family in Ecuador, that's how I got the most practice in the writing. Everyday I would take grandpa's EL DIARO LA PRENSA & EL MUNDO newspapers and start to sound out all the words. It was so much fun. (I'm thinking I might choose another language, buy the newspaper, find a pen pal and start learning a new language soon!)
I'm so grateful my folks taught me Spanish. It wasn't in any way a consciou thought. My family immigrated from Ecuador and Puerto Rico, the only language they spoke at the time was Spanish. For me it's not been easy to teach my son Spanish. My go to language now is English. Only when I am feeling some sort of intense emotion does my mind go to Spanish.
There will be some minor grammar and spelling errors, please help me to correct them, if you can, THANK YOU!
In life and in art I love to see when folks choose Love. My motto is Live LOVE Laugh. I believe Love is All. This wasn't always the case for me, thankfully I learned. Last night, for the first time ever, I watched the movie, "My Girl 2." In this movie the main character is on a quest to learn about her deceased mother's life. Her dad has remarried and his wife is expecting a baby. I was moved by the love the step mom showed the girl. The step mother saw a photo of the girl's deceased mom and authentically expressed how beautiful she found her to be. (It reminds me of me, being able to always see beauty in most situations and human beings, MOST).
love. Dr. Wayne Dyer #ICDINY13
It was a great example of choosing LOVE. Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be a part of the I Can Do It New York weekend conference hosted by Hay House. The event was held at the Javitz Center in NYC. IT was INSPIRED and INSPIRING #ICDINY13. I had learned one of the keynote speakers was to be the one and only Dr. Wayne Dyer, The Father of Motivation. I randomly (in all reality, I don't believe anything is random, nothing is by accident) ran into him one night in the late '90's when I was home flipping through the channels. Dr. Dyer was on PBS and was talking about, "Thinking from the End!" WOW. He blew my mind. I was so moved I called every single person listed in my phone book. I called and said something like, "Hey! You MUST put on channel 13 RIGHT NOW, there is a dude talking to us! He is telling us all we need to know to live our best lives, watch it now!!! Goodness, I wish I could record it..." Dr. Wayne Dyer was my gateway to positive thinking, my window to self awareness and my introduction to the universe and my connection to it. Dr. Dyer wears a shirt at all of his conferences, the shirt reads LOVE. Love. Period. Just another sign that my initial thoughts and experience with him are no accident. Always, in every way, I choose LOVE!